Family Advent Celebrations – The 25 Days of Christmas

ImageWell before I was even dating Daddy-O, I purchased the book The 25 Days of Christmas by Rebecca Hayford Bauer (published September 1994).  It has since been updated and re-titled Just 25 Days ‘Til Christmas:  An Advent Celebration for the Entire Family.  Each day has a short devotion, a song, suggested activities, and tips for making your holidays less hectic.  The watercolor artwork is whimsical and fun.  One of our family’s favorite features is the devotions incorporating the tradition of lighting the candles of Advent Wreath.

I cannot imagine celebrating the season without this book.

Oddly yours,



June Dinner Menu Plan

I’m getting a little late start on this, but well, this is quite a bit of planning for me.  June is National Country Cooking Month, so several of my menu items are inspired by suggestions given here.  Because Daddy-O and I ❤ BBQ, we’re combining Father’s Day and Juneteenth and eating some homemade soul food.  Now let’s see how much the reality matches the plan!

12- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Green Salad, Sour Cream Peach Pie

13- Eat Out (Nana’s)

14- Flag Day Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Green Salad, Strawberries with Creamy Fruit Dip

15- Eat Out

16- Fudge Day This ‘n That Thursday (leftovers), Homemade Fudge

17- Crockpot Coq au Vin, Rice, Green Beans, Pluots and other fresh fruit

18- International Sushi Day Taco Soup, Corn Chips, “Sushi” candy

19- Juneteenth/Father’s Day BBQ ribs, Homemade Mac and Cheese, Greens with Bacon, German Chocolate Cake

20- Eat Out or Leftovers, Heavenly Hash Candy

21- Sloppy Joe’s, Corn on the Cob, leftover Mac and Cheese

22- Cheese Enchiladas, Beans and Rice

23- This ‘n That Thursday (leftovers) Watermelon

24- Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta, Baby Carrots with dressing

25- Parmesan Tilapia, Potato salad, Corn on the Cob

26- Deep Dish Pizza Bake, Salad

27- Eat Out or Leftovers, Potato Candy

28- Toni’s Cream Cheese Chicken, Green Salad

29- Rachel Sandwiches, Potato Salad, Jello

30- Crockpot Cheeseburger Sandwiches, Fries, Fresh Fruit

Thanks to Vicky at Love From the Oven for asking me to link up to her plan.

Here’s wishing you a full belly and and happy heart,


My Five Things – Week 1

I love to write to-do lists and check items off.  However, my nature is to become so detailed that my lists grow incredibly long only Samantha Stevens could accomplish them all.  I could have a good number done by the end of the day but still see the unchecked items as proving I’m less than.  The usual questions begin playing in my head.  “Why am I not naturally tidy?”  “How come I don’t have as much energy as [insert intimidating woman’s name here]?”

In an effort to ditch the whole party pooper persona that so easily rears her ugly head, I have decided to participate in The My Five Things Challenge over on $aving Toward a Better Life.  Rather than limiting myself to a one-day deadline, I will give myself five things to complete within a week’s time.

Here is my list for this week:

  • Begin packing up Christmas stuff and decide what should be kept out for January.  Snowmen are not just for Christmas!
  • Write and mail thank you cards.
  • Laundry.  This could really be a one-word list, but having only laundry listed would be almost as bad as having a more detailed list.
  • Plant fruit tree.
  • Move books from cabinets to bookcases.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

If you want to participate, sign up here.

Thanks, Tabitha, for this helpful idea.


Why didn’t I do this before?

Another school year and I am ill prepared for filling out all the forms.  They all ask for the same information as last year, but again I have to search hither and yon for my things like my husband’s business number and our dental plan number.  Some of the items I can easily recall, but my brain is so full these days (not due to superior intelligence, I assure you).  I was just about to set it all aside for a time (read: procrastinate) when it occurred to me to simply keep document with all the data in a file sharing program (we like dropbox) so my family can access and update it as needed.  I’ve put together this form based on the many forms the school requires.  Click here to get the Personal Information Form.  I hope you find it helpful!


State of the Union

Today is my 9th anniversary.  My husband and I are planning to lunch at our favorite BBQ joint and discuss the “state of our union.”  This is something we have just begun doing in an effort to be proactive about our life rather than constantly knee-jerking our way through it.  We talk about everything from finances to our goals and dreams for our family.  Taking the time to discuss these things has really helped me connect with Philip in a way similar to when we first began courtin’.  Our dreams were different then.  We have fulfilled many of them and some we’ve tweaked a bit.  It’s been somewhat surprising to find out what things we each would like to accomplish and what experiences we’d like to have.  And, yes, the color-coding fool I am, I bring my sharpies to add the goals to our calendar.  Once it’s in permanent ink on the calendar, we can begin taking steps to be on purpose about making those things happen. 

Happy 9th Anniversary, Daddy-O!  The modern 10-year anniversary gift is diamonds, so start plannin’ now!